Fake news seems to be everywhere nowadays. We hear it from our professors, peers, the government and even mainstream media itself. With sources seeming to be unreliable, the truth seems to be falling between the cracks of memes and Kardashian scandals. Many start to ask if any news matters anymore. Should we follow it? Is the mainstream media ever valuable to the people anymore?
The answer is yes. Media and knowledge help make a democracy a democracy. The Freedom of the Press is in the First Amendment, and their job should be to deliver the truth. The internet, however, allows anyone to be a reporter, so it is up to us to be able to understand real and fake news sources. Make sure you know what’s bias and what isn’t. And subscribe to many different sources. Don’t use just one place for information, because then you are limiting your own mind.
Challenge yourself on what is fake news. Is it actually fake or just someone’s opinion? Fact and opinion don’t mean fake. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. However, just because you like it doesn’t make it real. Fake information is out there; so are facts. Following unreliable sites will lead you to opinion writers and fake stories. Mainstream media is still one's best bet for real information about current events.
The benefits of subscribing to a news source is obviously getting real news, but it is also helping you as a student, employee and person. Why? Because no one wants to hire someone who can only talk about one thing. If you know about sports: great, but not everyone loves sports. Being able to talk about many things makes you a more interesting person. No employer wants a boring intern. Selling yourself with the knowledge you obtain from the news is the best way to present yourself as an intellectual even if you have no clue what you’re talking about.
Some sites you can trust are the obvious mainstream media outlets: CNN, Fox, The New York Times, Vice, National Geographic, ABC, among others. The information should always be accurate. There are other media outlets that are good sources of information, but make sure you know how reliable they are before you use the information as fact.
News now is more important and easier to access than ever before. Use it to become a better informed citizen and person. Use information to go and make your choices. Learn from mistakes and from the internet about current events. You’ll sound more professional and intelligent, and you'll become a better conversationalist. People don’t just want to talk about the weather, they want to talk about what’s happening now.
And the only way to find out what’s happening now? By reading the news. The real news.
Lauren Sheil is a sophomore studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think? Let Lauren know by tweeting her @laurensheil101.